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Michael Dowers p3

Mini comics publisher and anthologist Michael Dowers talks about starting Brownfield Press, and life in semi-retirement on an island in the Columbia River...

READERSVOICE.COM: When did Brownfield Press start and what is your objective with Brownfield Press?

MICHAEL DOWERS: When Starhead Comix began to fail and I could feel I was losing my grip on the business, I started Brownfield Press about 1998. Starhead died in 1999. Brownfield Press was never expected any kind of future. It is really just a vehicle to stay in touch with the mini comics world. Right now my objective is to silently walk out the back door and leave the world of comics behind for good. But I suspect that once one has been so deeply immersed it is difficult to ever get fully away… I enjoy my new life (living on another island in the middle of the Columbia River here on the Washington/Oregon border) Am basically semi-retired now and get to work on projects that I want to work on. I just recently have created my own Tarot card deck with my partner (Christine Payne-Towler) who is an expert and writer about the world of Tarot. Our deck is doing very well and I want to continue with this kind of work. Also I have been a guitar player most of my life and have recently rediscovered the acoustic guitar (acoustic/electric), and spend a lot of time with my tune-writing and performing in our rural southwest region in the state of Washington and stroking my beautiful 1954 Gibson Southern Jumbo dreadnaught.

RV: What are some of your favorite books of all time, whether fiction or non-fiction, comics or not?

MD: I would have to say one of my all time favorite novelists is Nikos Kazantzakis the creator who wrote The Last Temptation of Christ and more well known Zorba the Greek. He is an incredible writer; his book The Greek Passion is the best. Always loved Desolation Angels by Jack Kerouac. I too lived in isolation for many years. And The Source by James Michener is a very good read. Always liked big thick books with a lot of content in them.

RV: Is there any chance of publishing an annual Best American Mini Comics series, like the hardback Best American Comics series?

MD: This is an excellent idea. Somebody should do it!

– See Treasury of Mini Comics Volume One, published by Fantagraphics June 2013. 720 pages.
– copyright Simon Sandall.